Washington Corridor Newsletter November 2013 Edition

What’s the buzz on the Washington Corridor?

Lights in the Heights is right around the corner. Please calendar it and let’s make this year the best ever.

It’s Lights in the Heights® time again!

This Year’s Route is Bayland and Woodland Streets and will be held on December 14th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM

It’s that time again to start thinking about Lights in the Heights®!
Lights in the Heights® began 26 years ago as a neighborhood holiday festival of music and open houses along Bayland Avenue and the Norhill Esplanade. The original idea came from a resident’s visit to New Mexico where they were smitten by beautiful displays of luminaria. Throughout subsequent years, the event became a venue for neighbors to meet and celebrate the holiday season. That first year approximately 1000 luminaria lined Bayland Avenue from Houston Avenue to Studewood. Residents took baked cookies to open houses for friends and visitors to enjoy. Early on, only a dozen or so musicians performed on porches. Today, over seventy entertainment groups volunteer their time and talent for this event. Unique in its venue – neighborhood porches and yards- and it’s all volunteer organization. Lights in the Heights® is now a part of many residents’ holiday memories and traditions.

This year, Lights in the Heights® will take place on Saturday December 14th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. We are scaling back the event considerably this year. There will be no food vendors or activities on the Norhill Esplanade. The Route is much shorter this year and will begin at Watson and end at Florence. Please see the Route Map under General Information. Additionally all posted and non-posted parking restrictions will be enforced as will laws regarding public intoxication and underage drinking.

Lights in the Heights® merchandise will be available on-line beginning the week of Thanksgiving.  For more information on all Lights in the Heights® activities, please contact Terri Guerra, Event Co-Chair ; Glen Sementelli, Event Co-Chair; or Tim McConn Event Co-Chair.

Article From: lightsintheheights.org/

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Home loans still flowing despite shutdown

glass_mortgage_smThe budget crisis in Washington hasn’t made it impossible to get a mortgage, as many had feared.

The biggest concern was with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-owned companies that own or back nearly 90% of all new mortgages.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and mortgage companies that make them. Some loans they keep and others they package and resell to investors as bonds, guaranteed against default.

To qualify for purchase, loans must “conform” to Fannie and Freddie’s rules, which is why most mortgages are called “conforming loans.

One of those rules requires lenders to verify a borrower’s income with the Internal Revenue Service.

But the IRS isn’t verifying incomes during the shutdown, which could have brought the entire mortgage lending process to a grinding halt.

Fortunately for us, Fannie and Freddie recently announced they were temporarily waiving that requirement.

“We’re issuing this guidance to help ensure the continued smooth operation of the mortgage market during the temporary shutdown of the federal government,” Dave Lowman, executive vice president of single-family business at Freddie Mac, said in a news release.

Whew.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, is already pushing applications through the system without confirming incomes through the IRS.

“For the most part, we really don’t expect any disruption to the origination or closing of government or conventional loans,” Tom Goyda, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, told us.

Indeed, Goyda said applications were still being processed and approved for FHA and VA loans – the two most popular types of government-guaranteed mortgages.

Once the shutdown is over, Goyda said Wells will go back and check the incomes of all borrowers with the IRS.

“Every borrower whose income is part of the calculation in the application does need to sign, date and have a fully executed form” to do that, Goyda said. “We’ll go ahead and process those once the IRS is back up and running.”

Article from interest.com
By: Mitch Strohm, October 12th 2013

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